Page last updated at 09:44 GMT, Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Snow bales or snow doughnuts - nature's snowballs
Snow bales
Snow bales on a farm at Dinedor in Herefordshire

A rare natural snowball known as a snow bale or a snow doughnut have been seen in Herefordshire.

They are formed when chunks of snow are blown along, picking up more snow along the way.

If the wind is too strong, or too weak, or the snow is too tightly packed, they will not form.

The resulting snowballs look like a hay bale, a doughnut or a Swiss roll, and can be hollow inside.

Snow bales on a farm at Dinedor in Herefordshire
They are often hollow as the weaker snow in the middle is blown away

Snow balls can also form in hilly areas. when snow falls from a tree, and then begins to roll down a slope.

They are not often seen in this country, because heavy snowfalls are a relatively rare event.

If you have any pictures of snow bales, send them to



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific